Checking out our new home?

Check it out!

Fado Cats check out prospective new home

We are Siamese if you please
We are Siamese if you don’t please
We are from a residence of Siam
There is no finer cat than I am

We are Siamese if you please
We are Siamese if you don’t please
Now we’re looking over our new domicile
If we like we stay for maybe quite a while

(From Walt Disney’s ‘Lady and The Tramp’  – composed by Sonny Burke and Peggy Lee)


Psst! Wanna Swap Cars?

SEAT IBIZA 1.2S 2003

Are you heading back to the UK? Do you have a LH Drive car? Do you need a RH Drive car?

I have a  2003 UK-registered SEAT IBIZA 1.2S with only a genuine 43,000 miles on the clock, mine from new and regularly serviced. If you are interested in buying this, or swapping your current LH drive car for mine, please get in touch by sending a comment to this blog which includes either your email address or telephone number.

I’m living close to Miranda Do Corvo, and buying a house locally, so can meet up within 60Km or so.




Carvalheira Rain

Just a Fado cat

Just a Fado cat

It isn’t just a pain,
It drives me insane,
And it doesn’t just fall on the plain.
I’m no pet, but I hate the wet,
Of the Carvalheira rain.

The Fado girl sings,
Of that Chuva thing,
And though it sounds very pretty.
I’d rather be indoors than have wet paws,
Or fur, and that’s a pity.

He hasn’t said yes,
Nor has he said no,
But the door is left inviting.
A Fado Cat must always take care,
But I feel I could go right in.

Tabuas Doggerel

In a place I know
It seems time forgot
Where folks smile, and laugh
Despite their lot

On a hillside high
Eucalyptus grow
A majestic sweep
To the valley below

A small cafe
A lovely man
Working every hour
Doing what he can

A young lady sits
Where shade still plays
Stitching beauty
On most days

The crack of Diario
Held in tight fist
One more fly
That is rarely missed

A tractor roars
A badly-parked car
A flock of goats
Rutting on the tar

Giant cabbages
In strong brown arms
A girl that smiles
Her innocence charms

Some English sit
Exchange the day
Watch life unfold
Both work and play

A fountain proud,
In a time of need
As taps run dry
No clouds to feed

In a place I know
High on a hill
In a different life
I’d be there still

Inexplicably? – please explain.


It’s always a privilege to be given a chance to view the world through the perspective of another human being. It’s also been a fascination of mine, of the way in which words are used, and their meaning interpreted.
Despite the title of this blog, I attempt to portray here the very different ideas that people have, regarding the meaning of ‘rude’.

The events I portray here are true. Names and places have been changed to protect those involved, as I wish them no harm. Hopefully, they may find this missive, and take away some insight from reading it. I wish them well for the future.

I’ve presented events here in reverse order, with no particular reason other than a personal preference. If you prefer to read the story in it’s chronologically correct form, then read each numbered section in ascending order.

5. Email from Charles to Joe

Dear Joe,
Charles here, I am sorry that I was confused during the 2 minutes that you were in the office, but I did not ignore you and the courteous woman who was sitting beside me thought one of us was rude, but it was not me.
I simply could not match your face to the event, now while that is unfortunate and a failing on my part it is hardly a crime.
The solution to my problem was in fact within the casing of my mobile phone, as I needed to change the sim card which Vodafone had updated that morning, so that I could phone Miranda.
Miranda was the person you had the appointment with and although it does seem like an unlikely catalogue of events it is what happened.
Once again I am sorry that my memory is not what it once was and I wish you all the luck for the future.
Kind Regards

4. Email from Joe to Miranda

Dear Miranda,

thanks for your email, and your gracious apology.

Forgive my tardiness in replying, but I was driving most of yesterday, and wasn’t able to access my email until this morning. (I use a public network)

With regards to Tuesday, I always try to make the best of setbacks, and I continued on south to Coimbra, so it wasn’t a completely wasted morning.

I am not used to being blanked by a person I sat with and talked to for over half an hour the previous week, including helping him set up his mobile phone.
When Charles was obviously at a loss, he again removed the back from the mobile phone as if seeking a solution to his obvious dilemma within the phone casing.

My response was at first coldly humorous, mollified slightly by the friendly and courteous attitude of the young woman also in the office. With Charles’s continued confusion and ignoring me, I did the sensible thing and left.

I do not want to conduct business with anyone who is quite clearly out of their depth, as this would spell complications and issues I simply have neither the time, nor patience, to deal with. So it is with regret that I am declining your invitation to a new appointment.

Sincerely yours,


3. Email from Miranda to Joe.

Dear Joe,

I’m sending my apologies as its completely my fault for missing this mornings appointment, i’ve tried to call you a few times as if you were returning to your rental which I think is Corvo way maybe you could
of passed Gois as this is where I am today, I am here all day if you have the inclination to call in.

Failing that If you would like to re book I will make sure I don’t miss the appointment again, I simply didn’t put it in my diary on Friday, a simple but stupid mistake.

Again my apologies,

Kind regards,


2. We meet again.

I glanced in through the open office door. He was sat in his corner, a young woman next to him. I knocked.

He looked up from his computer screen. “Yes?”
No flicker of recognition on his face. No recall of our more-than-brief encounter only a few days before.

“My name is Joe Brown. I have an appointment here this morning at ten.”
No reply. Just a confused look.
I smiled. “Can I make a suggestion? I’ll go outside, you press your restart button, and I’ll come back in.”
He muttered something I didn’t quite catch. At that point the young lady got up and excused his confusion, blaming her own presence. I was somewhat mollified with that, she was quite personable and attractive, and perhaps she was right.
I looked again at him as my short conversation with her ended. He was still confused, first picking up his Skype headset, then finally taking the back off his mobile phone.
At that point I remarked. “I’ll tell you what Charles, let’s just leave it at that. I have better things to do.”
I then left. I have every sympathy with people who have been burdened with difficulties in their lives, but they should be protected, not thrust into the foreground of a forward-facing business such as estate-agency.

1. Face to face.

I had parked the car next to a theatre, knowing I would have quite a stroll to the office, but also making it easy for myself to find it again, and walked down to the crossroads.
I obtained directions from a Senhora sporting the uniform of the local Bomberos, who for reasons best known to herself, was filling up a bucket with water from a font at the side of the pathway.

It was a short walk, and I spotted the small office with it’s distinctive canopy sign.
He stood outside, untidy, overweight, and lifting a half-smoked, hand-rolled cigarette to his mouth.
Since he was mostly barring the door into the bijou office, I stopped in front of him. He acknowledged me with a “Good Morning. Can I help?”

“Are you associated with Manifestly Marvellous Marbella Mansions?” I asked.

He looked at me speculatively. There was a pause before he answered “Inexplicably.”

I considered him, and feeling my head tilt to one side, said “So you are, but you don’t know why?”

He registered mild surprise at my question. “Something like that.” He dropped the butt-end of his cigarette onto the pavement in front of us, and screwed it into the beautifully-laid white setts with his foot.

“I’m looking for to buy a house in Central Portugal, and thought I’d call in and see you to make an appointment for some viewings.” I held out my notebook, turned open at the page of listing references I’d made.

He took my book, looked at the page, and turned to enter the office.

If anything, it was smaller inside than it looked from the outside.
Two desks almost filled it. He squeezed past a gentleman and sat down in the corner. I hovered.
He turned to the gent and began to talk to him, then appeared to notice me again. “Can you just give me a minute to finish up here?”

I nodded, and made my way back outside, wandering up and down the short street looking in the windows of the mostly-closed shops, before finally making my way back to the front of the office.

Eventually I was sat next to him. Details were taken. Online forms were filled in. Several attempts to call someone using Skype were made, then given up in apparent frustration.

Then a box containing a brand-new mobile phone was unpacked, SIM and battery installed, then a small memory card, after it’s existence was pointed out by me. Then the English language had to be found.

Satisfactory service eventually being obtained, a call was made, and I finally left his office with an appointment date and time for the following week.

No Honey Here

I smiled at her and wished her “Bom Dia.”
She acknowledged me with a brief smile, then averted her eyes and started adjusting an already perfect display in front of her.
There was no Honey. But that was OK. Every other stall in Miranda’s small square had Honey on it.
She had Cheese.

I took one of the tidbits on offer from a small dish. It was delicious. I also tried one with herbs, and this too, was superb.
She was watching me, a little shyly.
I gestured to the cheeses. “Delicioso.”
She nodded, and in perfect English said. “They are both home-made.”

I was a little surprised. Her accent wasn’t Portuguese, more North-European, but her looks were dark, Mediterranean.
“You speak English,” I said. “but where are you from?”
A blush had started on her neck, and was spreading up into her cheeks. Again she shuffled items on the table in front of her.

“In general, or in particular?” she said.
I laughed, and her blush deepened.
“OK.” I said. “I’d like one of each of these.” I pointed to the cheeses.

She wrapped up the cheeses, and I paid, putting the purchase in my shoulder bag.
She stood, just watching me, saying nothing.
I smiled and said. “Ate logo.”

There was no reply, her eyes still on me as I turned and left.

Carvalheira Archery Centre

My much-vaunted Grand Opening of the Carvalheira Archery Range was today. After great expense, and the splendid support of neighbours, the day itself turned out to be a fairly low-key affair.

Let me re-phrase that, it’s been a total flop.

Fatima, down at Miranda’s Town Hall, had promised me support, but neither her nor any other council officers attended. In fact, I’m beginning to wonder just exactly what she was promising, when I spoke to her last week.
Maybe my study of Colloquial Portuguese should be broadened in
scope to cover local Portuguese expletives.

Two of the neighbours did turn up, but appeared to misunderstand the purpose behind my fixing of balloons onto the target, and insisted on pawing these until each one burst in turn. Also, once I began my shooting display, they decided they had more important things to do, and left quite abruptly.

I blame the rain. Yes, I said rain. It’s taken 23 days, but it’s finally tracked me down after following my trail all the way from North Shields.

There was a warning. Last night outside the cafe in Tabuas, I had to jump onto the table to stop it taking off and making an unscheduled landing somewhere over in Penela, it’s attached umbrella suddenly animated with a gust of wind appearing from nowhere.

Joaquim came out to clear up the mess of broken glass, looked up at the sky and said simply:
“Chuva – amanha.”
He was dead right.

The Range

The Range

The Grand Pavilion

The Grand Pavilion